Issue - meetings

South Holland Centre

Meeting: 29/07/2021 - South Holland District Council (Item 33)

33 South Holland Centre pdf icon PDF 163 KB

To obtain approval to proceed with the implementation of the proposed structure to accompany revised operations (report of the Portfolio Holder for Communities and Facilities enclosed).

Minutes:

Consideration was given to the report of the Portfolio Holder for Communities and Facilities which sought approval to proceed with the implementation of the proposed structure to accompany revised operations.

 

The report was presented by the Portfolio Holder for Communities and Facilities who made the following points:

 

  • Fundamental changes had occurred in the Arts sector over the course of the pandemic and there was not much information and data available as yet regarding how the sector would recover;
  • Prior to the pandemic running costs were already significantly higher than the income generated by the Centre and this had cost taxpayers over £1 million over the last 4 years which could not continue;
  • The Council now had an opportunity to refine the offer of the South Holland Centre whilst still supporting local theatre groups and activities important to residents;
  • The phased approach for re-opening the Centre was based on public feedback and a user survey where 80% of customers wanted the immediate return of cinema while 40% of responders preferred to not be seated near others;
  • Recent data received via Facebook showed that residents wanted a return for live performances, and this would happen in October.
  • While closed, the Centre had been made Covid secure and had undergone some refurbishments;
  • It was pleasing to see the enthusiasm of the public for the return of live events and performances but this needed to be more sustainable and cost effective;
  • Customers would be able to book online or via telephone;
  • The new staffing structure would be flexible, could be expanded when the needs of the programme of the Centre required it, and would be a better use of staffing resources.
  • Following the pandemic, newly released films were available to the Council earlier than previously allowed and this presented an opportunity for visitors to see the latest releases earlier.
  • The Centre would programme more films/productions on a Sunday to support town centre footfall and ensure that the centre is open flexibly for the public.

 

The following points were raised by members:

 

  • Concern that the staff restructure was taking place too early and that there had been a lack of consultation on the new proposal for the South Holland Centre with both them and the public.

 

  • That further scrutiny and input from external experts was needed before a decision could be made on the staff restructure.
    • The Portfolio Holder for Communities and Facilities responded that a task group could be set up in a few months’ time to look at how the structure was working and that the proposed structure presented to Council was an opportunity to secure the future of the Centre. He also confirmed that a Friends of the South Holland Centre group was being set up so that the Council could work closely with local groups and receive feedback.

 

  • That members of the public who had previously volunteered at the Centre had not been contacted in preparation for the re-opening of the Centre on the 22 July 2021.